The question is no longer whether or not to have a mobile strategy, but how quickly you can implement it. And while the mobile web can address many platforms, there are still advantages to developing native apps. And so when I talk to clients, the discussion quickly turns to what order should you prioritize your mobile development dollars.
Well many, including influential VC Fred Wilson, have anointed Google’s Android platform as the eventual (if not already) winner. Just last week Nielsen projected that Android will have nearly twice the market share as the iPhone. Do you need more proof? You can find numbers from ComScore, Millenial Media and Canalys to support this point of view. Others just point to Android’s sales performance on the Verizon, Sprint and T-mobile networks proved that Android was the better platform than the iPhone, the one that had all the momentum.
All of this may have seemed credible until the iPhone went on pre-sale at Verizon. Not only did the pre-orders sell out in 2 hours…before 5am and set a record for most phones sold in any launch on Verizon’s network – but it happened based only on the response from existing Verizon customers. Some of this is because smartphones still only represent a minority share of Verizon customers (see graphic below), so perhaps there were a lot of people waiting for the iPhone to buy their first smartphone.
New research from uSamp indicates that more than half the existing smartphone customers at Verizon plan to switch to the iPhone…including 44% of Android users. I can’t wait to see what happens on Thursday when Verizon opens its doors for disgruntled AT&T customers. It should be interesting to revisit all these market share predictions in a few months.
So yeah, the iPhone is still the king and where you probably want to put your mobile development dollars first.
NB: Ness Software Product Labs’ recent whitepaper “Five Steps to a Successful Mobile Strategy for the Travel Industry” can be downloaded here.